Pomegranate, cabbage and nut salad : and in place of lions’ hearts, we present…

Have spent most of the morning in a hospital listening to the things you don’t want to listen to – in your fifties! Cholesterol, triglycerides, treadmills, exercise, walk, walk, walk, swim, swim, swim… all doctors go to the same limited-vocabulary language school, methinks!

I am full of good intentions – alarm for 4.45 am, new shoes, walking attire – all are the new energizing buzzwords, not to count all the excitement of making lists and shopping! Now, where else did we make lists? Faint memories of setting study schedules for exams – making lists come back… in sepia tone… 

Ah, of course – the same alarm for 4.45, coffee and stretches and then sit down to study for two hours of Maths, one hour of Chemistry and three whole hours of Physics etc. etc. lists of colour pencils for cataloguing study notes by subject, exam pads (yes, plural!) for writing on, pens (remember those toffee-brown Misak pens anyone?), extra nibs, ink bottles (Bril, Quink – I couldn’t remember brands which pre-dated Camlin but hubby, being older and blessed with a better memory, brought them out like that!) What did those plans come to and where do those lists end up, i wonder??!

Get my weight down? Errrrr, it was not so long ago that I was longing to get my weight UP to ninety pounds from the skinny eighty-odd that I used to be! Not so long ago? – oops, that’s where the thirty years went??!

Diet is also the new not-so-energizing buzzword! But we shall overcome – some day, just after that truffle cake that is positively wailing out to us from the frig is consumed!

But back to our hospital. Having grown up in and around hospitals all my life, these held no great fear for me and when I first encountered people who actually shivered at the thought of hospitals even, I tended to laugh at them – till I realised how real their fear was!

It is Deepavali eve  in my small town in India. Small towns are even more enthusiastic about these celebrations than blase big cites – as though to make enough noise to make the big cities sit up and take notice! I am cowering  (hmmmm… ever notice how similar to ‘coward’ that word sounds!) under the bed, shivering with the explosion of every “Lakshmi bomb” and almost wetting myself at the blast of every “Atom bomb”! A few streets away, braver friends of mine are vying with each other to prove themselves in the rites of passage to adulthood – the bigger, the louder the explosion, the more of a hero/heroine you are!

One of my very intrepid friends decides to prove herself by holding a bomb till the very last moment before chucking it away. It would have been all right – if the bomb had not been lighted! It was and like a myriad other things in India which do not happen at the appointed time, it decided to do that very Indian thing called “preponing“! (I really have a grouse against the OED for not including this beautiful word in the English language!).

BANG goes the bomb… in the hand…

My friend’s brother – a fierce-looking chap with the blood of his warrior ancestors coursing in his veins, brings out his faithful steed – a trusty scooter, she hops on at the back and they scramble to the emergency ward.

The doctors cluck over the hand, clean it, dress it and do other gory stuff as our hero glares on fiercely. Out comes a needle and a gentle thud is heard… half the emergency team absconds to the other side of the table where hero has fainted – at the sight of the needle!

What he really needed was foods to give him “heart” – like all the 50-somethings I know! In the olden days, they would have probably fed him lion’s heart blood or something equally gory…

Today we know better and will make him this amazing, heart-friendly…




  • Pomegranate seeds – 1 cup
  • Shredded red cabbage  – 1 cup
  • Shredded green cabbage – 1 cup
  • Coloured peppers – sliced – 1/4 cup
  • Green grapes – 2 tbsp
  • Slivered almonds – 2 tbsp – roast slightly and cool
  • Sunflower seeds – 2 tbsp
  • Sliced onions  – 1/4 cup
  • Julienned mango ginger or fresh ginger – 1 tbsp




  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup mint – crushed slightly
  • Crushed peppercorns – 1/4 tsp
  • Minced green chilli -1 or 2
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  • Pomegranate juice – 3 tbsp
  • Salt

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together well till frothy. Mix the vegetables together well and mix in the dressing just before serving. Toss nuts on top and serve.


Dil se khao!

Pic: Courtesy internet